nl en

Rebuilding Education


Disclaimer: due to the coronavirus pandemic, this course description might be subject to changes. For the latest updates regarding corona virus, please check this link.

Topics and disciplines:
You will work in self-formed groups and use your personal experience, motivation, study discipline and (cultural) background to (re)design a part of the academic education of Leiden University.


  • Exploring different perspectives on academic education;

  • Working together in interdisciplinary and multicultural teams;

  • Identifying and analysing education flaws;

  • Interviewing stakeholders and experts;

  • Creating practical solutions or educational tools;

  • Presenting to experts and stakeholders;

  • Providing and incorporating feedback;

  • Innovation management;

  • Presenting final redesign to a wide audience.

Admission requirements:

This course is an (extracurricular) Honours Class: an elective course within the Honours College programme. Third year students who don’t participate in the Honours College, have the opportunity to apply for a Bachelor Honours Class. Students will be selected based on i.a. their motivation and average grade.

Note: Admission will be based on motivation. We are open to all types of students. You can form groups during the course or apply as a group with a specific idea in mind to change education.


What is your best and worst learning experience in academic education? How would you redesign your own education if you could?

We spend the majority of our educational career in formal learning environments such as classrooms or lecture halls, where learners are too often positioned as passive (listening, watching, consuming) rather than encouraged to engage as creators (designing, analysing, constructing). Educational pioneers have long demonstrated that the essence of good education is not to transfer 'packages of knowledge' from sender to receiver, but to facilitate and stimulate the unique learning processes of different students. During this course you will have the unique opportunity to zoom in on one aspect of your own academic educational path and redesign it partially or completely.

You can choose your own topic, for example an educational situation you encountered in your bachelor programme. You may also pick a case study delivered by one of our stakeholders, for example designing a new Bachelor Honours Class. Last year two groups Rebuilding Education students from the VU Amsterdam designed and facilitated two courses which start this academic year. Want to get inspired and see what the possibilities are? Check out other redesigns on

The programme consists of eleven sessions, combined with self-study, field trips & research and personal consults from innovation experts. The first session is a full Saturday workshop. You will pick a topic of interest, form a team and define an action plan. The following nine evening workshops are guided by a multidisciplinary panel of guest lecturers presenting cutting-edge research. Practitioners and teachers will be demonstrating their innovation in education through engagement with various new learning techniques, tools and resources. There will also be room for working as a group while receiving immediate and relevant feedback. The course will be concluded by an evening symposium where you will present your results to a jury of stakeholders and educational experts. Finally, all redesigns and presentations will be bundled on a website to disseminate the initiatives beyond the network of Rebuilding Education.

Want to know more about Rebuilding Education? Rebuilding Education is organised at different Dutch universities. Check out this video with students who share their experiences.

Course objectives:

Personal and group-based goals
During the sessions you will work on the redesign in close collaboration with stakeholders and educational experts. Here, the course coordinators will act as facilitators by assisting you and stimulating peer-to-peer feedback to understand problems in a hands-on way, and by coaching you in attaining your personal and group-based goals. In this way you can ultimately benefit by learning from your peers with different academic backgrounds.
During Rebuilding Education, students from different disciplines will learn various lessons from the same education session, but nevertheless work together with their peers and teachers to achieve this. An important condition for transformative learning is that you have a personal relationship with the subject material. After all, it is necessary to feel connected to a subject in some way if you ultimately want to form your own perspective. This connection can be based on, for example, a personal experience, interest or mission. Hence, during Rebuilding Education, you are personally involved and play a role in shaping your own education and course objectives.

General skills
Besides the opportunity of changing academic education for the better, Rebuilding Education also supports you in further developing the following skills:

  • Exploring different perspectives on academic education;

  • Working together in interdisciplinary teams;

  • Identifying and analysing educational flaws;

  • Interviewing various stakeholders and experts;

  • Creating practical solutions or educational tools;

  • Presenting to experts and stakeholders;

  • Providing and incorporating feedback;

  • Innovation management;

  • Presenting final product to wide audience.

Programme and timetable:

Session 1: Kamerlingh Onnes building, room B013
2 Oct. 11.00-16.30h
How do we create a redesign?
Introducing assignment, stakeholders, forming groups and defining topics. Working with techniques to design a learning experience.

Session 2: Pieter de la Court building, room 0B23
6 Oct. 17.00h-19.30h
How do we motivate to learn? – A psychological & management perspective
Discussing concepts of student engagement, locus of control, SDT & OIT theory. Discussing different unconventional ways of organizing education.

Session 3: Pieter de la Court building, room 0B23
13 Oct. 17.00h-19.30h
Why do we learn? – An economic and historical perspective
Discussing concept of academic learning goals and social purposes.

Session 4: Pieter de la Court building, room 0B23
20 Oct. 17.00h-19.30h
Feedback carousel

Opportunity to share and discuss your design with stakeholders and experts.

Session 5: Pieter de la Court building, room 0B23
27 Oct. 17.00h-19.30h
How do we create room for creativity in learning? – An art perspective
Experience how giving room for creativity can increase a student’s learning curve.

Session 6: Pieter de la Court building, room 0B23
3 Nov. 17.00h-19.30h
How do we facilitate learning? – A technological and artificial intelligence perspective
Discussing different technological ways of guiding students and the role of the teacher.

Session 7: Pieter de la Court building, room 0B23
10 Nov. 17.00h-19.30h
How does neuroscience influence education (in)directly? – A neuroscientific perspective
Discussing the relevance of neuroscience for education and potential translation of research findings on neural mechanisms of learning to educational practice and policy.

Session 8: Pieter de la Court building, room 0B23
17 Nov 17.00h-19.30h
Consult session

Session 9: Pieter de la Court building, room 0B23
24 Nov 17.00h-19.30h
How do you present a redesign?
Practicing the final presentation, giving peer feedback and preparing the concluding symposium.

Session 10: Pieter de la Court building, room 0B23
1 Dec
Concluding Symposium
Students present their course concepts to experts and stakeholders. The committee and stakeholder present their feedback.

Session 11: presentations at the Old Observarory, room C104 with the additional spaces in room C002 and B008
8 Dec. 17.00h-20.00h
Final consult session

Deadline submitting your final work
23 Dec.
Hand in your final product before December 24 mail

Session 1: Kamerlingh Onnes building, room B013;
Sessions 2 - 11 will take place in Pieter de la Court building, room 0B23;
Session 11: Old Observatory, room C104.

Course load and teaching method:

This course is worth 5 ECTS, which means the total course load equals 140 hours.

  • Engaging sessions: 30,5 hours (10 x 2.5 hours + 5.5 hours) (participation is mandatory);

  • Study materials: 27 hours;
    o Book chapters: 4 hours (8 pages per hour)
    o Scientific papers: 20 hours (2 hours per article)
    o TED Talks and video material: 3 hours

  • Assignments and assessment: 82,5 hours;
    o Creating the final Minimum Viable Product: 70 hours
    o Preparation presentation Redesign: 10 hours
    o Contacting and meeting with stakeholders: 10 hours

Reading list:

Study material contains literature, video material and educational tools. All material will be uploaded on Brightspace.

Examples of study material:

  • Ken Robinson & Lou Aronica, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s
    Transforming Education (New York: Penguin Books, 2015).

  • Eric Mazur, Assessment, the Silent Killer of Learning

  • LeerLevels tool:

Assessment methods:

Presentation Redesign (40% final grade)
The course will be completed with a symposium where groups will present their design to fellow students, stakeholders and an expert panel. The feedback of this audience will also partly determine the grade for the presentation of the Redesign.

Delivery form:
As long as the presentation represents the groups redesign you are free to choose your delivery form, for example video, theatre, role play or a ppt presentation.

The maximum duration of the presentation is 10 minutes.

We expect that every group makes sure that at least one stakeholder or expert is present at the concluding symposium. These guests will also partly determine the grade for the presentation.

Final assessment: Minimum Viable Product (60% final grade)

The goal of the course is that you will redesign an academic educational situation. This will be within a group of three to four students. All redesigns will finally be published on Students will be able to use the feedback received during the symposium to finetune their final assessment.

The assessment methods will be further explained in the first session of the Class.

Brightspace and uSis:

Brightspace will be used in this course. Upon admission students will be enrolled in Brightspace by the teaching administration.

Please note: students are not required to register through uSis for the Bachelor Honours Classes. Your registration will be done centrally.

Registration process:
Submitting an application for this course is possible from Monday 16 August 2021 up to and including Thursday 2 September 2021 23:59 through the link on the Honours Academy student website.

Note: students don’t have to register for the Bachelor Honours Classes in uSis. The registration is done centrally before the start of the class.

Course coordinator Yentl Croese:
Learning Experience Designer, Centre for Innovation, Leiden University.